The Second Question
Guest Post by Dan Rockwell.  www.leadershipfreak.com

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Managers first ask, “How can we best leverage current resources to achieve desired ends?” The second question is, “What do team members love doing – within the parameters of desired ends?”

People doing things they love aren’t working.

Provide a channel that enables people to do what they love doing. People doing what they love, perform better and stay with organizations longer.

Great managers keep people doing things they love.

Lousy managers fix and control. Great managers leverage strengths and release. Accept weaknesses as long as they don’t hinder individual strengths or hamper the team.

“The (person) who always knows what people cannot do, 
but never sees what they can do, will undermine the spirit of the organization.” Drucker

Great teams compensate for each other’s weaknesses. Teams that don’t accept – even laugh about – each other’s weaknesses never achieve great results.

The greatest management skill is finding alignment between things people love doing and the goals of the organization. Managers succeed when they help people employ their best strengths in making meaningful contributions to organizational objectives.

Three question:

  1. What are the current objectives of our organization?
  2. What do you love doing?
  3. How can I help you do more of what you love within the parameters of organizational objectives?

One test:

Tell team members what you think they love doing. Ask if you’re on target. Then ask, “Do you think I’m helping you do more of what you love or more of what I want?

Old management controls. New management releases. More control – less vitality. More freedom – within organizational objectives – more vitality.

Great managers love helping people do things they love.

What steps can managers take to maximize strengths, minimize weaknesses, and help people do more of what they love?

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4 thoughts on “The Second Question–Guest Post by Dan Rockwell

  1. Robert Hunt says:

    Great perspective. Many companies won’t take the time to think this way and they open to door to losing great employees. This question can be asked and still keep the person in their same role. You just may need to move some functions around and switch some activities between people, but you won’t have the Manufacturing Manager jumping into an Accounting role so don’t panic.

  2. Thanks Robert! You are absolutely correct–it is almost always adjustments not a change of roles!

  3. Leon Poplawski says:

    That kind of manager requires spending some good face to face time and being vulnerable and humble to adjust for the benefits of others.
    Sounds sacrificial, sounds like someone filled and directed moment by moment, person by person with the “juice of Jesus”.
    Thanks Robert,
    LP

  4. Leon, my pleasure! You are that kind of manager!

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